I have been putting off posting this for a while because it’s not ‘outdoorsy’ enough, but the more I think about it, the more this article resonates with me. Also, side note: I am going through a few ‘things’ at the moment (I’m sure we all are) so all of these photos are purely here to make me feel like a Boss A** B*tch. I’m not apologising, I am just very aware of the juxtaposition of ranting about the Self Love ‘Movement’, whilst also showcasing photos where I look like I love myself very much indeed. Phew – hey. So let’s get a little real and a little deep for a minute. I’m calling bull on the Self-Love ‘Movement’.
Even the words seem to have lost all meaning in my mouth as my tongue brushes my teeth. ‘Self-love’.
The Self-Love ‘movement’ seems to become more and more monetized, noisy and in-your-face every day – “Buy this scrub. Drink this tea. Meditate harder. Wear these pants. Go for a spa day. TREAT YO SELF”. Companies slap a ‘Self-Love’ label on just about anything and people just lap it up. It honestly BLOWS my mind.
“What does self-love mean to you?”
I have never truly known the answer to that. Is it a face mask? A good book and a bath bomb? Is it the art of slowly unwinding in the gentle flow of some Hatha yoga at the end of the day? Is it fiercely embracing your all-powerful, feminine sexual energy and masturbating furiously and unashamedly for hours on end? I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is there are a million other women out there on the ol’ Social Media telling you that they’ve sussed it out – Self-love is easy, dumb dumb, just put yourself first.
First up, no. Self-love is hard.
Don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise. Sometimes, for some unexplainable reason, you will wake up hating something about yourself. You shouldn’t, but you will. You’ll want to be a bit thinner, a bit curvier, a bit stronger, a bit less spotty, a bit more symmetrical. You’ll want your toes to be less gross and your hands to look less weathered. You’ll want a nose that is less frecklie and takes up less room on your face.
Sometimes your stretch marks will remind you of the warrior woman you are and what your body has gone through and sometimes you’ll wrinkle your face up at them anyway. Sometimes, you’ll love the curve on the back of your neck and sometimes you’ll hate the way your collarbones sit. Sometimes you’ll look at your tummy and wonder why it isn’t flatter, even though you eat well and exercise.
Then, you’ll catch yourself having these toxic thoughts and you’ll get mad at yourself for allowing them to enter your mind. “No girl. We promised ourselves we’d LOVE our body ALL the time no matter what. Everyone else seems to be doing it just fine.”
First up, I can guarantee that they’re not. They may be trying, but they’re not, because they’re human (and also probably trying to sell you something). We’re surrounded by influencers who tell us to love our bodies no matter what they look like, which, again, you absolutely should do. But you know what? You’ll have days when you don’t, and that’s okay too. Not enough people tell you that. You can still take care of yourself and be kind to your body even if you’re having a ‘God I really hate my pre-menstrual curves’ kind of day. That’s fine.
I’m learning to accept how I feel about my body on any given day and roll with it anyway. Some days I feel like a she-wolf – Excellent! Stick on some Rihanna and go smash it, honey! Some days I feel like a hairy caterpillar – less excellent; eat some ramen and try and speak to yourself kindly.
Weirdly, this doesn’t feel finished. I’m sat here trying to conjure up a hard-hitting power-paragraph to end on but it feels forced. All I really have to say is love yourself as often as you can, but don’t be mad at yourself when you can’t. I know it’s exhausting. You’re trying your best. I love you.
These gorgeous photos are from a recent shoot with the amazingly talented Emma Barnfield. In these shots, I look fierce, gentle, powerful, seductive, mysterious, and sexy all at the same time. I was having a she-wolf day. I don’t compare my hairy caterpillar days to my she-wolf days – they’re not the same, and that’s okay.